Low NOx Burners
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A low NOx burner is a type of burner, typically used in utility or industrial burners, to produce steam and/or electricity. NOx is a generic term for mono-nitrogen oxides (nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide) produced by the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air during combustion. NOx gases are formed whenever combustion occurs in the presence of nitrogen, such as in air-breathing engines. NOx gases react to form air pollutants such as smog and acid rain, and destroys ozone in the earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, NOx can cause a number of health problems, specifically damage to lung and heart tissues. Low NOx burners, as their name suggests, produce very low nitrogen oxide emissions. Many low NOx burners utilize premixed, surface-stabilized combustion. This two-step combustion process first mixes the fuel and air required, then burns this mixture on the outer surface of the burner elements, with the surface acting as a barrier between the two processes. High temperatures are a requirement for the formation of NOx; surface-stabilized combustion keeps low NOx burners operate below peak NOx formation temperatures. Other characteristics of low NOx burners can enhance their performance and further reduce NOx levels. Surface firing rate, flame stability, and heat transfer from the surface can all be fine-tuned to achieve maximum effectiveness.